Jim Nantz is covering his 30th NCAA Tournament for CBS, immediately after which he will cover his 30th Masters.

For years, he had set as an informal career goal to make it to his 50th Masters in 2035 - when he will be 75 - to the point of looking up the date of the final round: April 8.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

But recently, he revised his aim upward after an encounter with retired announcer Jack Whitaker, whom Nantz considers a mentor. Whitaker, 90, had heard him reference the 2035 tournament in a speech at an awards banquet.

"After the event ended Jack came up and said, 'Hey, I heard what you said about 50 Masters,'" Nantz recalled. "He says, 'You need to do 51.' I said, 'Why is that, Mr. Whitaker?'

"He says, 'Because your 51st would be Augusta's 100th playing of the tournament. I think it's important that you're there for that.' How about that?"

The final round of the 2036 Masters would be on April 13.